Student Debt in the U.S. (Part 1)
This is our first article in a three-part series about the nation’s ever-rising student debt levels. The second and third entries will look at student debt from a historical perspective and explore some of the potential consequences of the debt crisis, respectively.
As college costs spiral upwards, unpaid student debt has reached a record high of $1 trillion, slowing down economic growth and causing many young individuals to lose control of their finances. Many politicians, media outlets, and educators are focusing on cuts to state and federal subsidies as the reason behind these astronomical tuition hikes. But while this may be true in cases, it’s not that simple.
Paradoxically, many studies have found the opposite to be true: as federal and state subsidies increase, colleges and universities actually charge more for tuition, exacerbating the student debt crisis. Here we will trace the problem back two decades, examine funding trends and college costs to pinpoint what exactly is behind tuition increases.